Milk & Guilt

It’s back.

Guilt, that is.

It was gone for awhile there, I’d achieved good balance.


It’s back.

It has to do with being incredibly busy at work (November 25 my life will become a bit more calm on that front!), the holidays around the corner, planning a wedding, and trying to find time to be a Mom in there, too.

While I had Monday off, every day since I’ve worked until at least 6:30 (my day normally ends about 5:30). When I work late, that means someone else picks Elle up from day care and there remains one hour of play time before bed – in which we have to squeeze a bath, dinner, books and a little love.
I have to work all weekend long with Monday and Tuesday as my days off.
I spent tonight getting my hair done, which felt like a silliness I ought to have cancelled, but it had been three months since highlight or trim and I have to do a lot of media interviews, etc., in the coming weeks. Would like to look as good as possible, I guess.

I’m hoping guilt looks good on me too, because until Nov. 25, I think it’s sticking around.


What’s also sticking around is a gross milk smell.
I’m so, so, so over milk.


Stopping at the store for a gallon of milk?

Hate it.

The room it takes up in my fridge?

Hate that too.

Tonight, my Mom had Elle and they texted to ask me to pick up milk on my way home. Which it’s kind of like – I get off the expressway, at the gas station which is two miles from home and here I am SOCLOSE to home and yet, I have to stop, get out, etc. I wish I could order milk from the Rally’s drive thru at the gas station.

Anyway, I do go in and get the milk (2 gallons for $5 – that’s a deal!). I put both gallons in the back – in Elle’s car seat – because that way I know I’ll remember to give my Mom one gallon and keep one for myself.

And my plan worked perfectly. My Mom got her gallon o milk and I had mine.

I also had in my backseat my makeup carrier (hello, old school Caboodle) because I did some TV segments today and wanted to ‘freshen up’ when I did them.

I set the milk on top of the makeup case.

I leave my parents house and drive the nine houses – no turns, no bends in the road, no potholes to speak of – to our house and pull in the driveway.

I open the rear driver-side door to grab Elle and the milk – but before I get to grabbing anything, that damn gallon o milk hopped right out of the car, flipped over and landed squarely on its head – right on the pour spout area.

In my head, I think I thought – in the instant before it hit the ground – that it would be like Rubbermaid and not break.

It wasn’t.

The pour spout area got rammed up into the jug itself, which forced the plastic to break, which really meant that milk began jetting onto the driveway.


F’ing milk.

I turn it right-side up and don’t even bother evaluating the situation. I just grabbed Elle and headed inside. Figured the milk would be ok for a minute.

The milk’s in my fridge now – I was forced to clean out my fridge so that I could have the jug stand up since I already had milk here. I’m so annoyed by milk right now. It’s a good thing it does a body good, because otherwise it’d be OUT of my house.

Anyway – it was a mess. A nice, hot mess. Or cold mess – cold like a tall glass of milk I suppose.

F’ing milk.

Ahhhhh…That Feels Good

With a sleeping baby (hello “Sleep Pillow” iPhone app – white noise is the answer, at least for tonight) before 7:30 p.m. – in jammies, in her own bed – I opted to make myself a tasty dinner.

I’ve been really REALLY trying to watch what I eat – not just watch it flow past my lips and onto my thighs, but making smarter choices before that taste hits my lips. And, so far, I’ve been doing pretty darn good. The scale shows me down about 4-5 pounds depending on the time of day, so I feel pretty solid about that, too.

I made myself whole grain linguine (and just one portion, not my usual 18 1/2 for me and my thighs and mid-section) with shrimp scampi (got conned into that one on a Saturday sample-day at Sam’s Club), a Caesar salad with a few grilled chicken strips and some Italian dressing. And oh, there it is, in the shadow, in front of the books on the coffee table, a big glass of Red Wine.

I lit a candle.

I turned on the TV to PBS, to Antiques Roadshow. (helllooo guilty pleasure-normally I fall asleep to the first five minutes of it on the iPad in bed).

I sipped my wine, I twirled pasta on my fork.

I enjoyed that all the toys were put away, that there was a candle burning, that the dishwasher was running, that my baby was sleeping – SLEEPING! – and I was enjoying a relatively healthy meal in a NORMAL manner.

I even laid on the couch and for a split second thought ‘this must have been what I felt like BEFORE I had a baby’.

And, whatever you might think of me…




I felt like I was firing on all cylinders today.

I spent some time thinking long and hard about a new approach to swim class. And, I found it in our trusty stroller.

I simply loaded up our swim bag, the stroller and Elle (ok, wrapped in a Snuggie, because I forgot a blanket – I lied about firing on all cylinders – maybe like 5 of 6 or something.

Anyway, Elle, the stroller, the swim bag and the Snuggie and I make our way into the Y.

I ask if there’s an elevator that goes to the women’s locker room (there’s got to be one, right) and the directions resemble something akin to pointing west and saying ‘GOLD!’. So, yeah, didn’t find the elevator and didn’t want to waste time, so I just picked up the stroller (yea for lightweight Baby Jogger strollers!) and walked down the two flights of stairs to the women’s locker room.

Not kidding.

And I wasn’t even winded. (Not exercising and watching what I eat have me in great shape ALREADY!).

I chose to bring the stroller, because I was honestly kind of grossed out about the floor of the locker room last week. So, I figured that I could load up warm fluffy towels in the stroller, I could load the stroller up with a bottle, a binky and my own flip flops and camera, and I would have a nice little carryall.

She's in there, I swear. Just hanging out with the towels and her toes.

See, not kidding - that burgundy thing is a Snuggie. And when I keep saying 'swim bag' I really mean, the 99 cent TJ Maxx shopping bags - but they work.

Elle ROCKED swim class this week – despite that turd of a teacher being back.

I actually kind of want to punch the kid in the face, but I’m not very violent, so I won’t.

He began our interlude today with, “Well, we’ll see if she likes the water any better this time,”

And my cool response was, “Do NOT fire water at her face this time and we should be ok.”

Sheepishly, he replied, “Yeah, that wasn’t a very good idea.”

I feel like he may be trainable some day in that he can recognize his foul behavior.

Ok, I know I’m just being a bitch now, but seriously, mr-junior-in-high-school you’ve never even INTRODUCED yourself and you can NOT remember the words to songs that you are singing THREE nights a week. I can’t handle you, but I want my daughter to love the water, so I put up with you.

It is a great character flaw of mine that I believe that myself or my brother can most certainly teach small babies how to swim better than, well, at least this guy. I have a tendency to believe that, in general, I can do a lot of things better than others — I recognize this as a flaw, so at least there’s that.But this kid, this kid is just – complacent and dweeby and doesn’t think he is – he thinks he’s the SHIT because he teaches Baby Swim at the YMCA. (Ok, rant, over.)

Anyway, swim class was a raging success. We got there and into the pool AT 5:02 p.m., and we swam and opted out of the final five minutes of ‘free swim’ and instead we made a beeline for the locker room, Elle in her stroller under a pile of warm towels.

While she chilled out and had a bottle (which I expertly propped beneath a duck robe), I quickly changed into dry clothes and hoped that she wouldn’t melt down before I could get myself put back together.


Wasn't kidding about the bottle propping. Heck, we're still on the pool deck in this photo, making a run for it.

Got her dried off and clothed, etc., and headed for the car. Fed her the rest of the bottle in the car and then headed toward home.

Managed to get in some FaceTime (yeah, new iPhone) with Jon and got a tour of the place he’s staying over in South Haven. FaceTime is so cool – I know, I’m late to the party.

I got the bottles washed, the kitchen cleaned, even fed Elle some extra cereal to try to help her sleep (that’s my Dad’s idea and I’m entertaining all ideas that end in more sleep for the mom). I gave her a bath, picked up then made myself a dinner that wasn’t totally frozen to begin with.

Anyway – firing on 5 of 6 cylinders, while I wrote this diatribe (is that even the right word?!) Elle woke up again. I gave myself  four – now three – more minutes to have this post done and up and getting myself into bed.

But man, tonight felt good – and so did that glass of wine!


Mommy Confession #1

It’s supposed to be that a mother loves motherhood above all things and her child more than that, even.

And I do.

I find being Elle’s Mom completes me in a way I didn’t expect that it would.

However, I have a confession.

Last night, we were across the street at Rick & Jen’s (Jon’s brother and his gf) having dinner, grilling out and having a bonfire. It was awesome. Perfect laid back Saturday night in which I drank far too much wine. Which could be a confession in itself.

But, here’s the real one.

The fire was beginning to flame, Elle had awoke from what I thought was down-for-the-night sleep and Jon’s Mom and Dad, who’d come over, were taking turns hanging out with her outside, wrapped in a few layers of blankies.

It was getting very dark and very cold.

It was time for Elle to sleep.

My wine glass had about 3 sips left in it.There was more wine to be drunk and the fire was really starting to flame.

Elle becomes extremely irritable and I take her inside to rock her/feed her/soothe her/lay her down, etc. And as I lay there on the living room floor where Elle was dozing off to sleep, I wondered how long I’d been in there. Wondered if anyone missed me at the fire.

So I confess, I wanted to be doing cool shit, like hanging out by the fire, not laying on the floor of Rick & Jen’s living room, hoping against hope that Elle would fall asleep and stay asleep.

I realized in those moments, alone in the quiet of their house, that a mother’s job is to sleep a little less in order to get to do both the ‘cool shit’ and the required Mom stuff. I thought back to growing up, my younger cousins, my aunts disappeared inside the cottage for stretches at a time, and then reappearing to continue sitting by the fire/around the counter/around the table.

Sometimes, you have to hit pause on the cool things you’re doing as a Mom and do the Mom things that aren’t as cool. Because that’s what we sign up for when we take on this whole Motherhood challenge.

I confessed this last night around the fire and I said that people should talk about it being ok to feel this way sometimes, because it IS ok to feel that way sometimes. Jon’s Dad (who I love, btw) said he thought it was ok to feel that way but not to say it out loud. Which convinced me that I was writing it here – because some days, mom friends reading this, there are interludes where you may want to be, you know, sleeping instead of rocking your baby, reading a book instead of making a bottle, enjoying a glass of wine instead of changing a diaper. And that is OK. It is normal. It is healthy. And there’s no need to not do the cool shit — you just have to fit it in around the Mom stuff some times.

The guilt that comes with motherhood is absolutely unparalleled to anything else of which I’m aware. Doesn’t mean that I don’t love being Elle’s Mom and that I don’t love motherhood itself — it simply means that I’m searching for balance and finding it is hard. 🙂





23 Weeks: Status Update

Ok, Baby Girl aka Minnie Mason is 23 weeks tomorrow. So – another status update is in order. (I feel like I’ve been writing about things other than HER and the PREGGO experience…so I’m back on track with this update).

Without further ado, a Week 23 status update.

Due Date: October 14, 2011. The sonographer told me that the due date is October 14, and I’m going with her. October 27 was off by my count anyway. I said October 19 all along and the 14 is probably even more accurate (this due date is based on Minnie’s size). She was 10.4 inches long and 365 grams at the ultrasound two weeks ago.

Baby Developments: Watch what you say — baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out when — just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

Weight Gain: Will have a much better gauge on this one after today’s appointment. Keep in mind, I don’t weigh myself. I’m still saying that I’ve only gained 2.7 pounds or whatever that number was through 23 weeks…I can say that for about another hour.

Cravings: Food. In general. Well, not even really. I guess I just have a bit more of an appetite. I wish I were eating just a wee bit healthier. But, pizza is back to sounding REALLY good. Fresh fruit still sounds good, but I am not eating enough of it. In general, though, I haven’t had a craving per se. I am certainly loving my sweet treats these days though.

Symptoms: Tiredness. I have started taking just one kids vitamin a day to see if that helps and it seems to have made a slight difference. I think I really wore myself out getting ready for the big party two weeks ago and spent last weekend recovering.
Oh, last night was the first real leg cramping I’ve experienced. It woke me up (not cool). I went for a walk this morning and that seemed to help. But, I hope that these don’t continue all the time. I’m ok with from time to time. I guess the leg cramping happens because you have so much more blood and fluid in your body as a result of cooking a baby. Whatever – I could do without the shooting pain of the leg cramps.

I am loving: having my best girlfriend in town, Jay. She’s here with her kids until later this month and she came over this a.m. for coffee with her 18-month old, Stella. It’s just so nice to have her around. I miss her when she’s not here. I’m also loving that my local bestie, Andrea, asked me to take infant pictures of her baby Drew after he’s born (he’ll be here June 27). I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the how-to’s of newborn photography. I can’t wait to get started. I’m also really, really loving the time I seem to have these days. Not having to work on my Master’s frees up a lot of space in my head and in my life to do other things with.

Sleep: Great. Lots of it. Spent a lot of time napping last weekend, but I think that was more because of wearing myself out the week prior.

I miss: looking like my regular self. Seriously, someone should have told me I looked this pregnant.

I am looking forward to: Drew’s arrival, spending time with Jay and her kids while they’re in town and shopping with my Grandma for Minnie tomorrow.

I am spazzing about: Now that the crib and glider were delivered yesterday, the really other big thing is to figure out a childcare (yikes!) situation after Minnie’s arrival. I don’t really like thinking about it – buuttt I have to. So, that search will start in earnest very soon. I swear.

Best moment of the week: Lots — it makes me smile when she kicks. And she kicks a lot. I realized yesterday that she has taken real issue with her neighbor, aka my bladder. Have had to pee a lot. But, I LOVE feeling her move around and get a bit weirded out when I don’t feel her like I think I should. I’m really trying to pay attention to how often she moves and when she moves. Current status: sleeping.

Milestones: Lots of kicking. Jon even felt it! Yup, on his 36th (holy crap he’s old) birthday, I had him lay his hand on my belly and he was like ‘I don’t feel it’ and I said you can’t feel THAT and he was like, I feel things moving, but… So, I was like ‘that’s HER’. I think maybe he thought it was going to be like karate kicks and chops or something…but it’s just little (getting bigger) all the time. But it’s cool that he felt her…and he’s getting more likely to touch my belly to see if he can feel her. Not a lot, but he’s done it a few times and I really like that.

Movement: Lots. I try to figure out which part of her is where…but can’t really tell or am not paying close enough attention.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Brisk walk this morning. Nothing when I’ve been on the road. But, we’ll see how the weight gain is going when I head to the doctor here shortly.

Diet: The sweet treats have been my undoing. Being on the road makes it hard to eat very well and I find myself over-indulging and over-filling myself which is uncomfortable. But, can’t say it’s too too bad.

Goals for the upcoming week: Not specifically baby-related, but get the electrical done in the attic so that we can get the insulation done so we can concentrate on getting Minnie’s room ready. The crib is here, the glider’s here, the dresser/changing table is here. I have the paint picked out. Just need to pick up the frames for the artwork, purchase the wall decal from and get moving.

19 Weeks: Status Update

The baby is the size of a mango/cantalope! I bought two cantalope’s for tomorrow’s big Gender Reveal party. I also bought a watermelon which I think should be against the rules for a woman to do when pregnant. It’s like a cruel joke…we tell you how cute and tiny it is when it’s a mango, a sweet potato…heck, even a cantalope. And then, ta dah, WATERMELON. I just hate the visual sitting on my counter.

Guess what — today’s the day! I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about finding out the mini Mason’s gender this afternoon! Literally, did not sleep very well. Was up every hour. This may have had something to do with Jon’s crank-ass mood last night and him taking some of the luster out of today’s big action. He did not wake up any friendlier (it was 4:15 a.m. when he was rolling out of bed) and I’m heading to the boy-girl ultrasound appointment by myself today. Awesome, just how I pictured it in my head…but it’ll be kind of fun to be the ONLY person in the world to know. Well, me and the ultrasound person. But they’re obligated by law to not tell.

Without further ado, a Week 19 status update.

Due Date: October 27, 2011. We’ll get a definitive answer on this one today with the for real ultrasound.

Baby Developments: Mini’s sensory development is exploding! Its brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch.

Weight Gain: As a general rule, I don’t weigh myself. So, I’m not sure. I am certain I’ve put on weight…I’ve had to with the way the belly is starting to show…but most of my regular clothes are still pretty comfortable. Last weigh-in I was up a total of like 3ish pounds or so…but that’s not going to last long.

Cravings: None.

Symptoms: My body seems to get run down in a way I’m not prepared for or used to. Not that I’m terribly tired, but I can just tell that my body is ready for a breather. Some mild discomfort on that left rear-end side. Doctor said it’s unusual for the sciatic pain to be on the left, but not extraordinary.

I am loving: The nice weather we’re now having…if only the rain would just STOP already. Also loving that we’ll know the gender (I’ll know the gender) TODAY…In just six hours or so.

Sleep: Other than last night, great. Just with this party on Friday and finding out the gender today, I feel like there’s a lot on my mind. And with Jon’s crankiness at a higher level than normal, that stresses me out too.

I miss: Tying one on…I really wouldn’t mind that light headed thrill of a few drinks…you know the feeling. I miss that for sure. Also miss the idea of a body I was pseudo-comfortable in, in a bathing suit. But, I’ll get over that in a hurry hopefully. It’s going to get too hot to care.

I am looking forward to: Having the family and friends at our house tomorrow and hosting a fun party; announcing that the mini is a BOY or GIRL kind of baby. EVERYONE seems to say that mini is a BOY. I want it to be a girl JUST to prove everyone wrong. But, I honestly don’t care one way or the other. Jon just wants it to have arms (I’m hoping for legs, too…and 10 fingers and 10 toes and everything to be announced as ‘normal’. I’m hoping for placidly normal for now…then be extraordinary AFTER this crucial development time is done).

I am spazzing about: Party prep. I’m thinking it’s a man-thing that he doesn’t appreciate/understand the amount of planning that goes into hosting 50 or so people at your house. I wish that he was a little more helpful with this…but I guess this party and getting everyone together is important to me…not to him.

Best moment of the week: Getting the fabric samples of the bedding that Kathy put together for me; TODAY and the ultrasound; seeing friends and family tomorrow!

Milestones: Ultrasound today! And we’re pretty much HALF WAY there. It’s all surreal. I can’t believe that there will be a real live human being here, in our house, in like five months. Craziness. And to believe I’ve survived 50% of the process…I feel like it’s been a breeze, so I’m prepared if the final half isn’t.

Movement: Yup. Often. I think I’m supposed to keep track of how often…but they say at 24 weeks or so you should feel the baby every hour or so. Not sure. A question for next time.

It’s a….: girl or boy…in six hours.

Exercise: Working in the yard, hauling stuff up and down stairs, cleaning. Nothing legitimate though, but my body definitely seems to feel the proverbial burn.

Diet: Have had a few ice cream attacks in the last 10 days (2 or 3) but that’s it. Feel like I need to do a better job of eating small meals throughout the day instead of the moderate breakfast, HUGE lunch and small to nothing dinner I’ve become accustomed to lately.

Goals for the upcoming week: Buy cute outfits for the mini boy or girl Mason!

Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad, not the mini Mason’s Dad.

It’s his birthday today, but man did he and Aunt Jill, Uncle Mike, my Mom and Jon party it up on Saturday. I went shopping with Andrea in Canton (a story for another post) and got back into town at about 5 or so. At that point, Jon was already recruited into the abyss that is Jaeger bombs. Had a great time laughing at them and watching them polish off about two fifths of Jaeger, which did not look appetizing to me at all.

My Dad made a FABULOUS dinner of grilled chicken and rice with veggies and it was EXACTLY what I had been craving. Yum!

Anyway, the funniest thing may have come yesterday when Jon and I were laying around at the house and I commented that I couldn’t believe how many shots he had done the night before. His response, “I was kind of hoping that since you couldn’t drink for nine months, neither could I.” Funny, that never crossed my mind (seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me).